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What is Elder Abuse? | Filing an Elder Abuse Lawsuit

What constitutes elder abuse in the State of California? Many of us are unaware that the actions of a skilled nursing facility or in-home nurse can be considered elder abuse. In other situations elder abuse is beyond negligent conduct of a nursing home, they can include financial or sexual abuse by others. If your loved one or dependent is a victim of elder abuse, contact a elder abuse attorney at Downtown L.A. Law. You are entitled to justice for the injuries sustained by your loved one. Make sure you know your rights and get the justice you deserve.

Type of Elder Abuse

Legally elder abuse is defined as taking advantage of anyone over the age of 65. This includes mistreatment, neglect or misuse of financial resources. California law also includes anyone who falls under a “dependent adult”. Most common types of elder abuse include the following:

  • Physical Abuse- physical abuse includes both physical and sexual assault, deprivation from food/water for long periods of time or excessive physical constraint. Other forms include the un-necessary use of chemicals or drugs to subdue.
  • Neglect– the following is considered different forms of neglect, neglect in providing proper nutrition, not protecting against safety hazards,
  • Psychological Abuse or Isolationeither through neglecting to take care of the patient failing to provide any type of care or treatment.
  • Abandonment – this can include leaving the patient without any care or treatment at a skilled nursing facility.  
  • Financial Abusetaking advantage of the financial means or resources of the individual.
  • Emotional Abuse- including both verbal or physical assaults, intimidation or confining the individual.

Elder Abuse Long Term Care Facilities Lawyer

Perhaps one of the most common places elder abuse takes place is at skilled nursing homes. Long term care facilities include a number of difference services specially designed to care and cater to the elderly. Different types of long term care includes the following:

  • Skilled nursing facilities- these provide particular type of care for those with specific care needs.
  • Residential care facilities for the elderly- provide care to elderly persons over the age of 60 providing room, board and housekeeping. These facilities also administer medications for residents to self administer.
  • Intermediate care facilities- this type of facilities is for those who are disabled and elderly, providing non-intensive care.
  • Sub acute care facilities- these are considered intense care facilities which provide full range care for the elderly.

Elder abuse is commonly found to occur in these types of facilities. It is important for family members to be aware of the warning signs of elder abuse and make appropriate changes as necessary. Read below to get an idea of some warning signs.

Noticing Elder Abuse

Lawsuit Information - Elder Abuse AttorneyWhat are elder abuse warning signs? How to tell if your loved one is the victim of elder abuse? These are both difficult to do. Since we are not there to monitor what goes on we can only trust or look for certain signs. Elderly abuse victims rarely speak up about the harm and abuse, in other cases any claim they make are met with objections. Some signs of elder abuse include:

  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Depression
  • Feeling helpless or angry
  • No desire to be around loved ones
  • Constant fear
  • Not wanting to disclose information or being secretive
  • Withdrawing from conversations

If you notice elder abuse make sure to file a report with your local authorities.

Duty to Report Elder Abuse

Not all parties have a legal obligation to report elder abuse. Only a few people under California law are mandated to report instances of elder abuse. Here, is a sample of those who are required to report elder abuse in California.

  • Clergy members are required to report known instances of elder abuse;
  • Any physician or medical professional who knows of the abuse is required to report it;
  • Any employee of a hear care facility mentioned above is required to report elder abuse;
  • Any party who undertakes the responsibility to care for the elderly is required to report abuse.

The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Home Neglect & Elder Abuse

Nursing Home NeglectEmotional Elder Abuse AttorneyBed Sore Attorney | Elderly NeglectMedication Error in Nursing HomesWhat is Elder Abuse?Nursing Home Slip and Fall AttorneyElder Financial Abuse AttorneyElder Abuse Neglect Laws AttorneyResidential Care Elderly Abuse AttorneyWho Can Sue For Elder Abuse?Elder Abuse Wrongful Death LawsuitElderly Medical Malpractice AttorneyBed Sore Wrongful Death LawsuitBed Sore Injury Attorney – Nursing Home NeglectDifferent Stages of BedsoresHospital Bed Sore Lawsuit – Can a Hospital be Sued for Patient NeglectNursing home sexual assaultInfections in Nursing HomesNursing Home Heat Stroke Lawsuit

Failure to report a elder abuse is a violation of California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 15630. Those who have a duty to report and fail to do so are subject to potential criminal liability. Downtown L.A. Law Group accepts elder abuse cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless we are successful in litigating your case you will not owe us any money. If you or someone you know if a victim of elder abuse, contact our offices today for a free confidential consultation.


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By submitting this form, you agree to receive telephone calls and text messages at anytime, which include hours outside of business hours (8:00 am PST – 9:00 pm PST). This is so that we may reach you as soon as possible in order to consult on your potential case.